By Falon Veccia '18
The Art Room on 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn has been a fontbonne community service site for the past few years. It serves as one of the most accessible sites to volunteer for and takes kids at time convenient for them.
The Art Room is set in a classroom environment where kids anywhere between the preschooler age and the middle schooler age can participate. The young children learn how to use a more creative side to themselves. They often copy the drawings on a screen onto paper.
The two teachers who work at the Art Room make sure the kids know exactly what they are doing and have all the material they need. That’s when the fontbonne students come in.
The Art Room only accepts fontbonne students to work there. What the students do varies. Freshman, Claudia Cain currently works at the site with a group of five year olds on Wednesdays after school. She says, “The kids are great to work with and the teachers truly know what they are doing. It is a great opportunity for fontbonne students to work productively during the school year”
The service lasts an hour for some starting at 3:30 which is conveniently for students getting out at 2:45 p.m. The last class starts at 4:30 ending at 5:30 p.m.
FHA students aid the teachers with the children. They will make sure the kids know exactly what they are drawing, provide them with the supplies they need, and connect with the kids. The class is small taking up two square tables. This allows for the fontbonne girls and children to bond.
The teachers give FHA kids the ability work more independently at their own table of children. It is also a great opportunity for the girls to use skills they learned in Child Development classes. Development students are able to put theory to reality.
The Art Room is a way for FHA students to apply their skills they learn everyday, such as independence and school-taught lessons on children, and bond with young children. It is an opportunity to do their community service productively.
By Joanne Centeno '21
One day at a time. One year at a time. It seems as if students are being told the four years of high school will fly by so quickly. In some ways, I understand what they mean. However as a brand new 9th grader, I’m taking it slow.
Looking back my first month at Fontbonne seems like ancient history. It’s as though I’ve been here for such along time. I am comfortable as if I have been here for forever.
The first thing i did was sign up for after school clubs. I am a singer and an actress, so naturally drama was my first stop. With so many other clubs to choose from, choices don't come easily. I want to do everything and yet there is so little time. Time seems to be my best friend yet my worst enemy.
The teachers, administration, and the students are amazing.The food here is pretty good too. I just wish lunch could last longer then 40 minutes sometimes.
I would recommend trying to find out as much information about clubs, resources, sports, and academics to as many freshmen as possible. The more you know, the better off you are. The more time you put into fontbonne, the greater the time is spent. I can’t wait to find out what else awaits for me.
By Stefanie Scotto '18
On Tuesday April 25 2017, Fontbonne Hall Academy’s Culture Club held their second annual Lip Sync Battle in the gym. The battle was set up where two contestants or groups were pitted against each other and fought for the victory. There was a panel of judges who kept score and decided who were the overall winners of the battle.
Some of the songs that were lip synced at the battle included “I Will Survive”, “Hollaback Girl”, and “Ceiling Can’t Hold Us”. There were a few rounds and both students and teachers alike battled it out for the win.
The winners of first place were sophomores, Ociana Menuau and Winter Charles and they won a $30 Starbucks card. They performed the song “This Girl is On Fire”. The second place winner was English teacher, Mr. Ugenti, who also won a $30 Starbucks giftcard. He synced to “Eat It”. Finally, the Culture Club held a “People’s Choice Award” and they set up a Kahoot for people to vote on who they thought deserved a prize as well. The winners of the People’s Choice Award were freshmen, Emily Battaglia and Kiana Woodberry. The girls synced to “We Go Together” and also won a $30 Starbucks card.
“Students have a chance to see their teachers in a different atmosphere to see that we are fun out of class too” stated Mr. Segoloni, head of the Culture Club”
The battle was filled with smiling faces, happy to a laugh with their friends and teachers. The culture club also ordered pizza and drinks for the audience, so the event was filled with fun.
By Maria Hatziminadakis '18
On March 3 , 2017 at NYC Tandon college, the NCWIT Greater New York Winner, and National honorable mention, was awarded to two Fontbonne Hall Students, Samantha Fernandez and Spiridoula Hatziminadakis.
Fernandez and Hatziminadakis attend NYC Tandon to accept their awards in honor of Fontbonne Hall Academy’s achievements in assisting young woman in STEM and Technology. Both Fernandez and Hatziminadakis were awarded NCWIT Greater New York winners. Hatziminadakis also was the first Fontbonne student to win a National Award. The award show consisted of girls from all over New York, and top NYC-tech high schools, such as Stuyvesant High School.
"The NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Awards helps to recognize girls who are striving to become the next generation in the field of technology through both hard work and dedication. It helps unite young woman who hope to succeed in a predominantly male industry and connects them to equally motivated woman whom they can share experiences with. Recognizing women in technology shows that one's gender should not hold a person back from doing something they are truly passionate about " Fernandes said.
The NCWIT award is awarded to young women in high school, particularly, juniors, and seniors. The award recognizes women in technology. NCWIT awards women for their wonderful and outstanding achievements in the field of STEM, and technology.
By Lauren Lezamiz '18
On Nov. 9, 2016, Fontbonne Hall Academy’s “Bonnies for Health” club sponsored a Zumba class in the gym. The class was open to all students and was held right after school at 3 p.m. The class was held to raise awareness and get everyone moving and healthy! The Zumba class was ran by a Zumba instructor, Jaclyn Benaissa.
Benaissa has been teaching zumba for three years. She started going to Zumba when she was in her Master's program (2011) as a way to relieve stress. She would go two or three times a week to Triple Essence dance studio where the Zumba instructor, and former Bonnie Alumnae, Natalie Russell taught the class. She had a great time at these classes.
“Fitness has always been part of my life but, not fitness in the "go to the gym and run on the treadmill/lift weights" sense. I always got bored of it. I like to interact with others- be part of a team, and be outdoors. Zumba has given me this ability,” said Benaissa.
Benaissa said that the biggest inspiration was that she didn't need to be a size 2, which she says isn’t a bad thing, to lead, or be part of a class.
“Having people of all shapes and sizes laughing AND doing something healthy and fun? What more can you ask for!” said Benaissa.
Benaissa enjoyed teaching the students and said that they were all wonderful. She explained that their enthusiasm and kindness had left a lasting impression on her and she is looking forward to returning in the future. Because of the huge turnout and how many students participated in the class, Benaissa said the more the merrier!
“You were all awesome! Having a big group brings more energy, I loved the crowd!” said Benaissa.
Benaissa is a former alumni of Fontbonne Hall. When asked if she enjoyed teaching zumba to the students at FHA she explained that coming back to FHA felt like coming back home.
When asked if Benaissa would come back to Fontbonne and teach another class, she explained that she was looking forward to returning in the future. She thanks all that came out and joined her Zumba class.
By Maria Hatziminadakis '18
Sports Night begins on Feb. 6, 2017. Sports Night occurs on March 26 at St. Francis College, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sports Night is ran annually. It consist of a competition in tumbling, dance, and skit between the four years in Fontbonne Hall Academy. Sports Night is a time for all the years to come together and spread Fontbonne Spirit.
“Sports Night means getting together with friends. My favorite sports night memory is when we would practice our song. Sports night is a way that every year comes together to tell a story with dancers, tumblers and so much more. I'm excited to see everything come together for the day of sports night” said Rebecca Kaminski, junior.
Every year, Fontbonne students as a year perform a performance they have been working on since February. The event is run by Ms. Barton and Mr. Herron.
Falon Veccia stated, “ A time where girls come together in our year. It's the time we are the most united. My favorite sports night memory is when the whip and the nae nae come on and me, Brianna, and Rebecca danced to it. A time to make new friends. It's important for school spirit.”
Other students are excited about the Sports Night experience. It is what makes Fontbonne.
“Sports Night is time where we can bond with our year. The whole process brings us closer as classmates and friends My favorite Sports Night memory was what happened after we performed sports night for the first time. As we were leaving the St. Francis gym and going upstairs, our whole year was screaming and chanting . It was so much fun. Sports night will be stressful but it's also very fun. It's one of the few fun traditions that Fontbonne has to offer, so work hard and do your best because it will all work out well in the end.I'm excited for the senior performance. They have done very well at sports night for the past 3 years, and I am wondering how they will go out with a bang” said Kirsa Danis.
Sports Night practices vary by year and begin in January.
By Marissa DeVito '18
As of the 2016 school year, Fontbonne Hall Academy has a Rubik's Cube and Chess Club. The club was created by junior, Spiridoula Hatziminadakis, an avid rubix cube and chess enthusiast.
Meeting every other Friday, the club introduces different mind challenging games. Solving Rubik’s Cubes and Chess are avidly played. These games are not only a fun enjoying experience for members, but they promote the ability to learn and act in real life situations.
Many of the games played in the club can help improve logic and algorithm skills. When asked if Rubik’s Cubes, and other mind challenging games could improve logic and algorithm skills Hatziminadakis said “I do think participating in mindset games like solving a cube can help further one's ability to do better. Personally, I am able to concentrate more and finding new methods of solving the cube in the fastest time possible helps me deal with real life situations.”
Memorizing can be key in studying, and by applying these skills one may learn from solving the cube, can improve in subjects that may require the.”
Rubik's cubes are being incorporated into many school systems throughout the world due to their many benefits.
Hatzminadakis said “The idea of a cube can be related to math, and even science. Many individuals can solve a cube, but designing it is another story. Student’s who compete in competitions tend to major in engineering.”
Rubik's Cube and Chess Club is a great opportunity for all students to learn new and exciting skills.
When asked what students she recommend join Rubik's Cube and Chess Club, Hatzminadakis said “I recommend students who just need a break. A break from all the stress, because even though it may seem complicated to solve a cube, it can become very relaxing once you get used to it “
By Kate Collins '18
When the six girls arrive at CHiPS, they are immediately put to work making produce bags. Fridays are called “produce day” because the people leaving the soup kitchen are able to grab a bag full of apples and oranges. Afterwards, the girls make an assembly line to fill garbage cans with canned foods.
“CHiPS was overall an inspiring experience. The best part of my experience was seeing the smiling on all their faces when they got the food. I am so happy I was able to serve those who need it most,” said Grania Finnegan, a student who attended CHiPS on Friday Dec. 2.
From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. the crowd comes in to eat lunch. There are four different jobs assigned to the girls. The first job is serving food. Two girls help serve the rice, beans, chicken, pasta and salad. Two girls help prepare the trays by putting, dessert, juice and a fork and knife on each plate.
As the crowd gets heavier, the girls work hard to fill the trays with full plates of food. The third job is for one girl to bring the platter of food to the “specialty seating.” The “specialty seating” is for those who elderly, pregnant or have a medical reason which makes it hard for them to carry their plate to the table, so the plate is brought to them. The fourth job is the greeter. The greeter greets them at the door and signs everyone in and out.
After the rush and madness of the three lunch hours, it is clean up time. The girls wipe down the tables, clean the dishes and put everything back where it belongs.
The CSJ message for the Junior year is “service.” One of the ways in which the Junior year pursues their mission of service is every Friday, a group of six girls attends the Soup Kitchen, CHiPS. CHiPS stand for, “Community Help in Park Slope.” CHiPS is a volunteer based soup kitchen open to anyone in need of food. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner for the less fortunate. The girls get to work with others to serve the community. CHiPS is a great place for Juniors to pursue their mission of service.
by Angela Mancuso '18
Sarah Emily Mae Stevenson started working at Fontbonne Hall Academy in 2016 as a guidance counselor. Stevenson decided to study this profession three years ago and went to the Quinnipiac University for undergrad school for four years and two years in University of Massachusetts, Boston for grad school.
Completing six years in total, she has experienced many different environments for this profession before coming here to Fontbonne.
”I worked as a counseling intern at the Community Charter School of Cambridge, as a Development Associate at The Federation for Children with Special Needs, and I completed a year of service as an AmeriCorps VISTA at the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange,” said Stevenson.
Traveling from Hoboken, N.J., Stevenson has a long commute five days a week. She adores what she does because “everyday is something different” and loves working with students especially being part a school community.
This job brings her a new challenge to work with and something to accomplish everyday.
She attended Catholic school from kindergarten through 12th grade and feels it is a special type of education.
“I realized how many students have the potential to succeed but don’t have the support they need or the access to certain opportunities,” she said.
She is an advocate for both students and families. Helping students in all areas of their lives such as their academics, personal life, college and career planning is what she mainly focuses on here at Fontbonne.
“I really enjoy the all girl environment and feel that the sense of community is very strong amongst the students.“
The role of a guidance counselor is a person a student can always turn to. Whenever a student is in need to talk to someone especially about personal matters having an unstable home and situations that abuse may occur in.
by Lauren Lezamiz '18
Ms. Lauren Gueli came to Fontbonne to replace Mr. Bellinger ("Mr. B") who retired last June. Ms. Gueli teaches five classes at Fontbonne including Visual Perception, Major Art, and Photography.
Prior to joining the Fontbonne staff, Gueli taught art at a co-ed school and an all-boys high school. Gueli also taught at an elementary school for and started her own vertical garden company. This is her seventh year teaching.
“All of the girls are so sweet here at Fontbonne. They are on top of academics, good at participating, and the faculty is very nice,” said Gueli.
When asked what Gueli’s favorite things about Fontbonne were, she explained the welcoming school community and how open the art students are to new projects and ideas.
“They are really diving into their pieces!” said Gueli about her new art students at Fontbonne Hall Academy.
Gueli studied at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI where she got her Masters of Art in Teaching, Bachelor of Interior Architecture, and Bachelors of Fine Arts.
When asked how she became interested in art, Gueli said “I think I was born interested in art. From an early age all I ever wanted was more art materials and to learn to draw.”
As Gueli got older, she became interested in Interior Architecture and Design after seeing her father's projects. Her father was a General Contractor. She would always be in awe of the spaces they built. When asked who her favorite artist was, she explained that it was Egon Schiele who inspires her.
Ms. Gueli will build upon the tradition of creativity and artistic appreciation here at Fontbonne.